The Importance of a Vacation

Thank you to Gerry for drawing my attention to this very interesting and helpful article.

It was by Barbara Reinhold, and appeared on http://bit.ly/khHOlD

 

 

The Importance of Vacation

So what’s your vacation got to do with the bottom line? Everything, say industrial psychologists, but that fact doesn’t seem to have penetrated very well in corporate America. The majority of people still take work with them on vacation in one form or another, and more than 25 percent of corporate people don’t take any absolute downtime at all. So what’s the problem?

Vacation Is as Important as Sleep

It’s a little like sleep deprivation, according to physicians and psychotherapists. Just as lack of sleep impedes your ability to think clearly and act decisively, lack of playtime keeps you from taking in information effectively and seeing the totality of a situation. Lack of sleep and play both have a negative impact on your reflex time, general resilience and ability to ward off infection. Recreation deprivation also makes you cranky, and often more than a little critical of the people in your organization who do have the good sense to take care of themselves.

Every time I have clients who tell me their direct reports are slacking off, I respond with the question, “When did you have your last vacation?” Almost always, the answer is some variation of, “Well, I don’t really do vacations that are about relaxing and rejuvenating. There’s just too much to get done.”

You’re Hurting More Than Yourself

The bitter irony is that the vacation-deprived usually think they’re doing everybody a favor by continuing to work themselves to the brink of exhaustion. But the reality is that they’re costing everyone — their coworkers, their direct reports, their organizations, their families and themselves. Work addiction is an insidious thing. Like other addictions, you usually have to bottom out before you can summon the courage to change.

Christian House Sitters can help you to enjoy that much needed vacation by helping you get rent-free accommodation around the world and/or by having someone look after your home and pets free of charge while you are away.

Have a look at www.Christian-housesitters.com

Vacations. A Real Health Benefit

Palm Tree

I was reading some articles in the NPR (National Public Radio) publication today.

One of the articles was entitled Vacations Are Good For Your Health
by Brenda Wilson

Naturally with my interest in Christian House Sitters this grabbed my attention. It is an excellent article and you can read it in full at http://n.pr/kSFnp but here what I consider the key finding.

Probably the best evidence of the effects of vacations can be found in the Framingham Heart Study, which scientists have been plumbing for years to understand what contributes to our well-being. More than 12,000 men who were at risk of heart disease were followed over nine years to see if there were ways to improve their longevity. Among the questions they were asked annually was about vacations.

“The more frequent the vacations, the longer the men lived,” says says Karen Matthews of the University of Pittsburgh’s Mind-Body Center, who analyzed the data to assess the benefits of vacations.

With Christian House Sitters we can help you get this benefit. Our sitters can enjoy  rent-free vacations all over the world and our home owners can enjoy their break knowing that their home and pets are all in safe hands  and that this is not costing them anything The money they would have had to spend on putting their dogs in a kennel, their cats in a cattery can be used to improve their vacation. And they can feel secure that their home is not being broken into while they are away.

Find out more by visiting www.Christian-housesitters.com

 

Ray

Questions & Misunderstandings

Have you ever noticed how easily people can get the wrong idea about things?  Since we started Christian House Sitters we have had many people who misunderstood what we are doing and why we do it so in this brief post I hope to clear up a few of the wrong ideas.

Is it just a hobby? No it is far more important. On average I spend around 5 hours every day working on the site, updating member’s details, listing and sending out houses and answering questions.

Do I run it to make myself rich? No again!  All the fees from membership go to sponsor food for children at the Home of Peace Children’s Home in Kenya.  The cost of running the site is covered by Marilyn and I from our own personal income. So actually running CHS does not make us money it costs us money.

Is it just a fund raising tool? No it is not! Christian House Sitters is a ministry that provides holidays for Christians and we also find reliable Christian House sitters for owners who need someone to look after their home, pets and garden.

If you join are you committed to sponsoring a child at Home of Peace? No you are not. Joining Christian House Sitters does NOT commit you to sponsoring a child or giving any support beyond your membership fee to these children. Although naturally if you want to support that would be greatly appreciated.

Is it expensive to join? Once again the answer is another no. House owners do not pay anything to have their property listed. Their membership is FREE.  House sitters are only charged £25 per year and in return for this they can enjoy numerous rent-free holidays each year.

I hope that has cleared up some of the most common misunderstandings about this ministry but if you still have questions please visit the web site and contact me via the form on the contact page.

Ray
www.Christian-housesitters.com

Peace and Rest in Canada

The range of different houses that we get listed on Christian House Sitters is fantastic. We have had houses in cities, in the country, up mountains, next to lakes and in so many countries that I have personally lost count.

Here is an example. I chose this one as an example because it sounds like the sort of place Marilyn and I would love to go for a few months of rest and recharging our batteries. And it is available rent-free for a range of different dates.

If this is not what you are looking for then it is still worth joining as the list of available properties changes constantly.

Canadian Flag

The following is an extract from the details given by this home owner

We live in a small community 100 km from the nearest town of Quesnel British Columbia. In summer the drive is about 1 hr, 15 minutes to town. The community consists of a First Nations reserve and several ranches and homes scattered through a large area surrounding it.

It is fairly isolated and in the midst of beautiful country with mountains, lakes and rivers and a lot of wildlife.

Our home is on 6 acres of property and consists of a 1000 sq ft log home with an upper half story.

There is also a shed and a mobile home on the property with a guest room, bathroom and kitchen.

The house is an open concept on the main floor with living room, dining, kitchen, laundry and bathroom with tub and shower combo. Upstairs are three bedrooms and a ‘hobby room’ with computer and craft table. There is one large bedroom with a queen bed and large windows overlooking the yard and forest beyond.

The two small bedrooms have a single bed each. Couches on the main floor also pull out to be two double beds and there is enough bedding for all the beds in the house.

With the bedrooms upstairs is also a small two piece bathroom.

There is a canoe available for use.  Two adult bicycles and one junior bike is available.

Our setting is perfect for someone who truly wants to relax and get away from it all. There are a few neighbours nearby, but only one house can be seen from our home. Very quiet! No cell phone service within an hour’s drive.

Our heat is by a wood stove, but it is normally not needed in the summer. We do have electric heat as a back up if it gets too cold, but it is expensive and usually unnecessary. The house stays very cool in hot days on the main floor. Log houses are great insulators.

Appliances available: electric stove/oven, microwave, toaster oven, dishwasher, washer, dryer and various small kitchen appliances. We have satellite TV with a basic Canadian package – tons more channels than we ever watch, and satellite wireless internet covering the entire property.

To find out more about enjoying a rent-free vacation or having someone look after your home please visit our website and if you have any questions use the Contact page on the site

Ray

www.Christian-housesitters.com

10% of workers take no holidays

Before I ‘retired’ and we started Christian House Sitters I was very involved in Stress Management. You can read about it on our website.

I therefore thought it may be helpful to include a few interesting articles on stress in this blog.
If you are suffering from severe stress please get professional help.

10% of workers take no holidays – stress survey

One in five workers did not take all their holiday leave last year in a sign of the increasing stress levels of British employees.

Research by online travel firm Opodo found that one in 10 worked all year without taking any time off.

Almost two out of three people never taking a proper lunch break and some spend all weekend thinking about work.

Opodo has launched a campaign to allow workers to clock off early on Fridays.

Nine out of 10 of those questioned said they felt stressed from work and half regularly worked unpaid overtime.

Stress expert Professor Cary Cooper, said: “Employers have seriously got their head in the sand if they don’t take immediate action.

“People simply aren’t going to be productive if they don’t get a long enough break and are so stressed that when they do they still can’t switch off.”

Story filed: Thursday 10th July 2002 ANANOVA

Remember if you are in need of a holiday we may be able to help. Through Christian House Sitters we can help you find rent-free accommodation all around the world.

We can also help find someone suitable to look after your home and pets while you are away. This will not cost you anything.

For more information please look at our website www.Christian-housesitters.com

Ray

Advice for House Sitters

post it note Helpful Tips
This has been taken from our Christian House Sitters website (www.Christian-housesitters.com ) and slightly adapted for this blog posting

Housesitting is a wonderful way to enjoy your holiday without having the expense of renting accommodation. However it is important to prepare correctly, as that will mean that you have the very best holiday and your home owners benefit from having you there as well.

Before you agree to the house sit it is important that you have conversation is with the owners during which you find out exactly what they are expecting from you and what they are offering. That way, the are no nasty surprises either party. Hopefully the owners will have listed all their requirements and the details of the property accurately when they joined but it is still worth confirming everything.

If you are going to be looking after animals please find out from the owners what they expect you to do. For example it may be important to not leave the animals alone for more than a set number of hours. You do not want to find this out after you have arrived. It is far better to know before you agree to the house sit.

We strongly recommend that you ask the owners to write down exactly what is expected of you. This may include things such as looking after animals, watering pot plants, taking in the mail or taking telephone messages, etc.

No doubt you will have followed the advice given on our website to have a written agreement with the home owners and these details should be included in that agreement. If not please look at the Suggested Agreement page on website.

Please make a point of arranging your arrival and departure time with the owners before the house sit. Plan your journey carefully as it is obviously important for the owners to be able to leave for their holiday on time and it is very inconvenient if you arrive late.

Remember the owners have been kind enough to allow you the use of their property while they are away so treat it with respect. When they come back, they will expect to find the house is clean and well looked after.

Sadly, accidents do happen, and occasionally there may be a breakage. When that happens, it is your responsibility. And we would expect you to inform the owners as soon as possible and to arrange to either repair or replace the damaged item.

It is always thoughtful and appreciated when a house sitter prepares a meal for the returning family. Remember they have no doubt had a long journey and the last thing they feel like doing on arriving home is preparing a meal.

Discuss with the owners how they feel about you using any supplies that they have left in the house. Do not simply assume that they have been there for your benefit. The owners may will be expecting to use those products when they return. If you do use anything it is good manners to replace it. In the same way you are expected to cover the cost of telephone calls which you make during their absence.

If you do have any questions please clarify them with the owners before you agree to the house sit and if in doubt feel free to contact us.

Ray

www.Christian-housesitters.com

House Sitting Explained

The concept of House Sitting is new to a lot of people.  As a result I get many emails requesting me to simply explain the system.

In essence it is very simple.

A House Sitter moves into your home while you are away on holiday. They look after your home and pets for you and in return they receive a rent free holiday in your home.

The house owner saves money by not having to pay anyone to look after their home and pets. For example In the UK having someone to look after your pets costs an average of £200 per week. The majority of us can’t afford that. And even then if you hire a sitter through an agency they select the person.  You have no idea who you are letting into your home.

Using the Christian House Sitters service you are able to make contact with potential sitters and prayerfully select the right person or persons.

They have the security of knowing that their home and pets are being looked after by a responsible Christian.

The House Sitter gets to travel and stay in lovely homes rather than an expensive and often characterless hotel room.

For example recently Marilyn & I spent a couple of months living in France and a year later we spent 3 months in the Italian Mountains. This  was something we could not have afforded without being house sitters. We became part of the local community and had a lovely time.

In return we looked after  beautiful houses and their pets.

Remember if you have any questions you can always email me.

Ray

www.Christian-housesitters.com

On Holiday in Scotland

Hi,

This blog entry is being written with a distinctly Scottish accent. Although to be honest you may not notice it when you read.

Why Scottish?  Well Marilyn and I are on a farm in Dalton near Lockerbie in Scotland. We arrived here yesterday and will be here for another 9 days. We are House Sitting for a lovely family who needed a holiday. They joined Christian House Sitters and listed their house a couple of months ago but for some very odd reason nobody wanted it. I can only assume that folk thought Scotland would be cold in October. They were wrong!

Because these people really needed a holiday Marilyn and I felt God wanted us to do the house sit for them if nobody else offered.

So here we are. As I look out the window I see farm fields with cows grazing. In the other direction there are fields with sheep and horses. Surrounding us is some absolutely beautiful scenery.

It really feels as if we are on holiday.

Do we have a lot of work to do here? No not much. They have 2 delightful and very loving boxer dogs who go for a short walk. Short because both dogs are getting old so can’t go too far. In addition there are 3 beautiful, friendly cats, a hampster and 2 chickens. We could easily do all our work in an hour leaving the rest of the time free to relax, see the area and have a country holiday.

There are so many other fabulous holidays available on the Christian House Sitters web site. Come and look around. You may find your ideal holiday rent free. Some do not even have any pets to look after.

Ray

www.Christian-housesitters.com